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    HomeWorldIntelligence chief mocks defector after assassination

    Intelligence chief mocks defector after assassination


    A man murdered in Spain is said to have been a Russian defector. The man's identity has not been officially confirmed, but the comment from the Russian secret service is telling.

    A secret service in Moscow acknowledged the alleged murder of a Russian helicopter pilot who defected to Ukraine with undisguised glee.

    “This traitor and criminal became a moral corpse at the moment when he was planning his dirty and terrible crime,” said the head of the Russian foreign intelligence service SWR, Sergei Naryshkin, according to the state news agency Tass. Media had previously reported that the former Russian helicopter pilot had been murdered in Spain.

    The Spanish authorities have not yet confirmed the identity of the dead man. In an initial statement from the government in Madrid on the case, spokeswoman María Pilar Alegría said on Tuesday in response to questions from journalists: “Investigations are ongoing in this case, so we cannot provide any information at this time.” One must “let the (police unit) Guardia Civil do its work and wait for the results of the investigation.”

    The pilot flew from Russia to Ukraine in August last year with a fully equipped Mi-8 army helicopter. After landing at a Ukrainian military airfield, the other two crew members who were not informed of the operation were shot as they fled, according to Ukrainian sources. The Russian received the equivalent of over 460,000 euros from Kiev for the crime. State television in Moscow reported in the fall that the Russian secret service had received the order to kill the man who was considered a traitor.

    Media: Shot by unknown people

    Spanish regional media now reported that a man was shot dead by unknown assailants in a garage in the coastal town of Villajoyosa in eastern Spain last Tuesday. The victim was initially identified as a 33-year-old Ukrainian, but was later described by the media as the Russian pilot.

    The local authorities, however, are cautious: The alleged murder in Villajoyosa is being investigated, but the investigations are subject to investigative secrecy. The identity of the dead man has not yet been determined. No hypothesis has been ruled out, said a police spokesman at the request of the German Press Agency.

    Kiev, however, has verified the man's death. “We can confirm this fact,” Ukrainian military intelligence spokesman Andriy Yusov told public television on Monday. Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the National Security Council, said Kiev had suggested the pilot stay in the country. “He would definitely have been safe here.” The Russian secret service would not have had such an easy time in Ukraine as it did in Spain.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on the killing. According to Russian news agencies, he said he had no information about it. Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, himself a former secret agent, is known for his tough stance against people he considers traitors. These “usually come to a bad end; either in drunkenness or drug addiction behind some garden fence,” Putin once said.

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